The Toronto Maple Leafs have just announced that they have extended goalie James Reimer for two years. I know, terrible, right?

Of course, all the firemen on Twitter were pretending like this was a good thing. Luckily, Sportsnet’s Damien Cox was right on cue with a piping hot take to remind us all how truly terrible this deal is:Screenshot_2014-07-25-17-09-33-1

Cox knows the truth — those coaches and front office guys didn’t get nixed because they horribly mismanaged the team over he course of years. Nope, it was all because Reimer couldn’t stop the puck while the indisputable best team in hockey skated in front of him.

This signing, when paired with the hiring of Kyle Dubas, is just another sign that dark days are ahead for the Leafs.


Noted hot takist and veteran good-opinion-haver Mark Madden seems to have taken a dive into an ice bucket of cold takery today.

At least that’s what I thought at first.

In a seemingly ice cold take posted at TimesOnline.com, Madden criticized one of the most important characteristics a hockey player can have — GRIT.

Now, if you’re an avid reader of the Takery, you know that I hold things like grit, leadership, and compete level in the highest of regard. Hell, those are the kinds of things that win hockey games. So imagine my surprise when I saw that Madden had written these words in reference to the Penguins’ unwillingness to ditch the gritty Craig Adams:

It’s mostly because the importance of “good” grinding-style third- and fourth-line forwards is a myth, promulgated by the Canadian mentality that grit is as important as skill and put into play by the grotesque over-expansion of the NHL, which necessitates that at least one-third of its players aren’t very good.

That is a very kind estimate, by the way.

Let’s say the NHL contracted to 12 teams, the size it was after the 1967 expansion. Let’s say the league would have today’s scouting capabilities and global player availability. Each team could have three scoring lines, maybe four.

Would teams bypass skill for grit? Would better players be excluded for the sake of the “intangibles” today’s third- and fourth-liners allegedly have?

By some teams, maybe. Those teams would lose. Eventually, the myth would disappear. So would the less-talented players.

Now, this had me all hot and bothered. Madden seemed to have taken a turn to the darkside — a place where logic, intelligence, and rationality rule the day. That kind of shit has no place on the internet, especially from someone who is an expert on the subject of hockey.

And then it dawned on me: there’s just no fucking way that Madden actually thinks what he wrote. It must have just been a way for him to rationalize why the Penguins are dropping turds on the ice right now. Now, he could have criticized anything about the Penguins without the need to back it up (he is a takist after all), but this time the wheel of blame landed squarely on “too much grit.”

How do I know this? Well, you see, while Madden claims above that the value of grit is a “myth” based on a “Canadian mentality,” you’ll never believe who has gone to great lengths to perpetuate this “myth.”

Yeap, you guessed it: Mark Madden.

First, let’s take this steaming hot take from December 2014, in which Madden argues that veteran somewhat-hockey-player Bobby Farnham should be in the Penguins lineup. The reason?

He has zero pedigree. Undrafted. Didn’t even score much in college hockey, at Brown. That works against him.

But players like Farnham help good teams. ADRENALINE. Enthusiasm, heart and team-first are contagious.

Farnham and Steve Downie provides bookends of aggravation. Farnham should be rewarded for what he’s done so far. Dress Bobby Farnham.

“But Dr. HT,” you might be saying, “Mark Madden didn’t specifically reference grit.” While I could argue that things like ADRENALINE (all caps), heart, and aggravation pretty much convey the same sentiment as grit, you’re right. So what has Mark Madden specifically said about the value of grit in the past?

We only need to go back to March 2013 to see Madden write a staunch defense of grit. In an article titled — I shit you not — “Pens need to get their grit together,” Madden argued that what the Penguins needed to make a deep playoff run was not skilled Corsi-padders like Jerome Iginla, but rather a healthy dose of grit:

But what the Penguins need more than anything is third- and fourth-line size and grit. Especially grit. Grit breeds accountability. Grit prevents first periods like Thursday night’s. Grit tiptoes through rough patches without the scoreboard exploding.

More grit could bring the Penguins a Stanley Cup.

Just look at that whimsical as fuck description of grit leading to the denouement that more of it will win the Penguins a Stanley Cup. It’s just. So beautiful.

Bonus points: in the above article, Madden urged the Penguins to not “collect stars” and instead “build a team” by picking up extra grit. Who was it who — on this very day — said that teams that bypass skill for grit are teams that “would lose”? You might want to scroll up to find out the answer (it was Mark Madden).

But wait, it gets better. At the end of last season, everyone was scrambling to figure out what exactly went wrong with the Penguins. Well, Mark Madden, being an opinion-haver, gave up his scorching hot take. Let’s just peep what he thought was wrong with the Pens not twelve months ago:

In trying to set an example for how hockey should be, [Former Penguins General Manager Ray] Shero constructed a team that is infinitely removed from what’s needed to win.

The Penguins had zero grit. Most of their players are wimps by birth, never mind choice. Lack of grit means the opposition has no accountability.

Before every game, I guarantee the Rangers were in their locker room saying, “Go after Crosby. Go after Malkin. They won’t do anything about it.” The Rangers tortured those two, especially Crosby. The Penguins had no remedy.

Get it? Last season the Penguins didn’t win because they didn’t have enough grit. Now they might just miss the playoffs because of too much grit. Makes you think, huh?

And what about Craig Adams, the guy who inspired Madden to write his screed against grit. Well, it seems Mark wasn’t always counting Adams’ grit against him:

So there you have it. While today’s Madden piece may have you thinking that he’s one of those Corsi-heads hell bent on ruining the NHL, he has a long documented history of just saying whatever the hell he feels like without backing it up. And given the fact that he’s written loads on the merits of grit and only a tiny bit on why it’s bad, I think it’s safe so say that he still falls under the classification of smoking hot takist.

Oh, and if you think that maybe he just had a change of heart, I wouldn’t put much stock in that. See, when I noticed the inconsistency in Madden’s thought (or lack thereof) process, I politely notified him. He had the opportunity to explain that his thinking had evolved, but instead he resorted to telling me about how he makes money and I don’t.

Now that’s the reaction of a bona fide takist if I’ve ever seen it.


Randy Miller is no stranger to being featured on the Hot Takery. Usually we write about him because of his ability to dish out piping hot takes. But today, we have a different purpose.

Randy Miller needs an editor.

Now, I don’t fault Randy for not having the time to look over his posts on NJ.com. The people need their takes, and they need them hot. Spending time to look over your writing will undoubtedly cool them down.

But it’s gotten out of hand. I’m starting to believe that Randy has perhaps forgotten how to speak English. Take this, which I tweeted out two days ago:

That’s pretty bad. And it’s even worse when you consider that there are actually eight typos in that sample.

I’m concerned for Randy, so today I decided to take a look at everything he wrote on March 18th. According to NJ.com Ol’ Rando filed nine stories that day. I looked over every single one with a fine tooth comb, and the results I found are nothing short of shocking.


The Flyers stink this year, there’s no doubt. But their best player just might be the one thing holding them back.

That’s at least what Master Takist Randy Miller of NJ.com suggested today with some piping hot words. Good words like #leadership and shit. And with #leadership in sight, Miller placed the blame for the Flyers woes squarely on one Claude Giroux.

Sorry, I meant _laude Giroux.

Now, Randy is a Seasoned Hockey Person, so he didn’t do anything ridiculous like suggest that Giroux is anything short of a spectacular hockey player. Here are the takist’s words:

No one can debate Giroux is an elite player. He has more points than any player in the NHL over the last four seasons. He’s a good faceoff man, he kills penalties and he’s far from a defensive liability.

So why, then, would Randy even suggest that the Flyers struggles are Giroux’s fault? Well, if you’re a takist criticizing an elite talent, you can always point to one super relevant thing — how that talent treats the media:

For whatever reason, Giroux just doesn’t seem comfortable answering tough questions during tough times.

Giroux’s take usually is “we did a lot of good things out there” or “we made some mistakes, but we’ll go watch the film and try to get better.”

Get it? The platitudes that every single hockey player dishes out just aren’t good enough when Giroux does it. No, Randy wants a fucking breakdown of tape, a sublime explanation of everything that happens in the game, or at the very least a back rub. And being the head honcho at such a prestigious outlet like NJ.com, you damn well better believe he deserves it.

But Randy didn’t stop there. He took it one step further by noting that when it comes to giving bad quotes to takists, good captains just don’t do that:

That’s not how Chris Pronger or Bobby Clarke would handle these types of issues.

Game. Set. Match. Chris Pronger never ever had a bad relationship with the media, and Bobby Clarke, while being a terrible hockey player (I don’t know if that’s true, because I’m not #old), was always willing to shoot the shit with takists after going on a losing streak. Giroux just brushes them off. In the words of the great Sam Carchidi, “good captains don’t do that.”

It gets better. Suck on this, _laude:

During Giroux’s first season as captain he blew off the media after a frustrating road loss. He vowed it wouldn’t happen again. It did.

It’s at a point now that now where beat writers sometimes don’t even request to add Giroux to the post-game interview list because his quotes often as unusable clichés. More often than not, Giroux gives short answers that doesn’t come close to matching the kind of honestly [sic] that Mason, Simmonds and Streit usually provide.

Leaving that task to others isn’t a sign of strong leadership.

What decent captain wouldn’t want to spend time with a bunch of old, pudgy white dudes who criticize him constantly after a loss? No one, unless you’re _laude Giroux.

Let’s take a closer look at what was just said. _laude doesn’t talk to media the way Randy likes = _laude is a bad captain. That’s a balanced ass equation if I ever saw one, and like I always say, it makes perfect sense if you don’t think about it too much.

While we’re on the topic of #leadership, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention that _laude grabbed a butt that one time. Now, some of you might be scratching your head as to what that could possibly have to do with hockey, but Randy went there:

Then there was the drunken butt-pinching-the-cop episode in an Ottawa bar last summer which landed him behind bars for a night.

How this has anything to do with how the Flyers have performed this year, I don’t know. Answering something like that would require analysis, but we’re not in the business of reasoned logic, we’re in the business of takes.

And if this take couldn’t get any hotter, Ol’ Randy finishes it with a punch:

Dealing with the media is only part of a captain’s job, but all those quotes this season about the Flyers not competing partially is an indictment on Giroux. On the other hand, Giroux still piles up points and he’s as much of a worker on the ice as anyone in the NHL.

“On the one hand, he’s undeniably a great hockey player….on the other, he doesn’t give me good quotes. TEAR THE C OFF HIS FUCKING CHEST!”

This is some Steve Simmons level stuff, right here, budding young takists. Take note.


There are some players in the NHL who are straight up teflon — no matter what they do, the takists will always praise them as Good Old Hockey Boys. That is unless Phil Kessel Ruins them.

In his steaming hot Sunday rambling, master takist Steve Simmons argues that just that happened with one Tyler Bozak. The “star” Toronto Maple Leafs forward and once media darling has descended down the path of Kesseldom, and now it’s time to throw him under the bus.

Consider the title of Steve’s sub-section detailing just how bad Kessel has made it for Bozak:


Now, those of you who look at garbage nonsense like C.O.R.S.I. stats and the like are probably laughing pretty hard at that. Like, really really hard. And it’s probably because if you actually look at the numbers, watch the game, etc. etc. you’d be able to come to the conclusion that the above statement is piping hot bullshit.

But it’s actually not.

So what does Steve provide to support his case? Not stats of course — that would be breaking one of the tenets of piping hot takery. No, we don’t need any research to prove why Kessel is making Bozak bad. We can just infer it based on how he’s been treating the Toronto takists lately:

This is among the reasons the Leafs would like to rid themselves of Kessel. He is different and works differently than most NHL stars. If it works for him, so be it and most of the time it has. But when it begins to influence others, negatively — Bozak has also turned into an interview malcontent when once he was a reasonable subject — then the Leafs realize why they must move him in a rebuilding time.

Now that is a steamer if I’ve ever seen it. This is pretty much the only evidence that Steve presents, and it of course inserts himself into the story. If you don’t think this is a piping hot take then I don’t know what to tell you.

And notice that Steve isn’t just saying that Bozak is bad now because he won’t talk to the media. He’s also suggesting that the Leafs trade Bozak because of this. Sit there and think about that for a minute, but watch out — this takes is so scorching that you might catch a fever.

We at the Hot Takery haven’t seen much out of Steve lately, but we’re happy to see he’s still cranking out the steamers.


If you read the Takery a lot, you know that we have a soft spot for Mark Madden — and today, he provided some nice warmth for the holiday season.

Tonight, Brooks Orpik will make his return to Pittsburgh for the first time since the Penguins stupidly decided to let him walk in free agency.

As we all know, Orpik is a true leader with tons of grit, truculence, and intangibles. Perhaps you recall that he was a key cog in The Hot Takery’s simulation of Team Heart vs. Tearm Corsi. Without him, that pernicious statistic could have possiblY won the game.

Anyway, Pittsburgh-area takist Mark Madden took to twitter to make sure the world knew just how epically significant Orpik’s return is:

Penguins. Legend. Brooks. Orpik.

Everybody knows that hundreds of years from now when we look back on the Penguins, we’ll remember the big names. You know, Lemiuex, Jagr, Crosby, but most imporantly, Orpik.

As if that take wasn’t steaming hot enough for you, Mark Madden took it to new heights, using his twitter rant to take a jab at Flyers fans:

Get it? Brooks Orpik is a fucking legend, and Eric Lindros was a total bust. Makes you think….

And if you disagree with what Madden says here, let me ask you one question: Have you ever seen the Flyers win the cup?


Sometimes hockey coaches just don’t say what they mean, or rather don’t say what their audiences want to hear. That’s when a piping hot takist needs to step up his or her game and fill in the gaps.

And that’s just what the Edmonton Sun’s Rob Tychkowski did.

Last night after the Edmonton Oilers won in a shootout against the Florida Panthers thanks to the talents of one Nail Yakupov, many takists in Edmonton were wondering why Yak had never been used on the shootout before.

And then Tychkowski found the answer: fireman extraordinaire Tyler Dellow had been forcing the Oilers coaching staff (at gunpoint, maybe?) to bench Yakupov in shootouts.

Here’s Tychkowski’s take:

Now, Tychkowski doesn’t mention Dellow by name here, but we all know who the “Oilers analytics guy” is. After all, he is the original shill for Big Corsi, perhaps only matched in the blind advocation for that flawed stat by Eric Tlusty.

Remember how I mentioned that sometimes a takist needs to explain things that coaches aren’t willing to say? Well, that seems to be exactly the case here, because video of Nelson’s press conference from last night reveals, well, that he never said anything that Tychkowski said he did.

But don’t believe me — take a look at the video:

Hmmmmm, that sure is odd. Now, after thinking about this for a while, I realized that Tychkowski is doing Nelson a solid here. We all know that he probably wanted to throw Dellow under the bus, but just couldn’t bring himself to do it for one reason or another.

So Oilers fans should be thanking Tychkowski for helping them out, because that makes sense.

Speaking of things that make sense, the supposition that Dellow is behind the non-use of Yakupov in shootouts really makes you think, especially considering Yak spent two shootout-less years in Edmonton prior to the arrival of Dellow. Wow.

I know what you’re thinking — those are some pretty ridiculous missteps by a member of the mainstream media. That may be true, but I believe I found the real scandal in all of this, and it was right on Tychkowski’s Twitter bio for all the world to see:

Now that, my friends, is a tragedy.


Tim Panaccio of Comcast SportsNet is no stranger to dishing out piping hot takes, but it seems he may have outdone himself.

It all started when Washington Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen LITERALLY MURDERED Flyers forward Steve Scott Laughton in their game last Wednesday. Of course, since it’s now the CORSI Hockey League, the Flyers didn’t respond with fisticuffs.

Well, little Timmy was having none of this bullshit. In a scorching hot take posted earlier today, the take master voiced his very obvious opposition to Flyers coach Craig Berube’s claim that the hit was no big deal.

Now, Craig Berube is a hockey man for sure, but he’s certainly no expert. Who are the experts in this case? Why the takists of course!

Here’s Timmy after Berube bursted his bubble:

Thus began a lengthy back and forth with several veteran beat writers who have covered many Flyers teams of past about whether Niskanen’s hit wasn’t a carbon copy of Scott Stevens’ hit on Eric Lindros in 2000 that ended Lindros’ Flyers career.

Now that, my friends, is a strong take. What the hell does Berube know, anyway? Sure, he played the game for years and coaches it now, but has he ever sat in a press box?

Probably not.

Beyond being again right in his analysis that takists know more than coaches, Timmy is following a best practice for piping hot takery: always insert yourself into the story.

And that, dear readers, is what makes this take smoking hot.


Following Randy Carlyle’s departure from Toronto, the analytics crowd has been very eager to see how a coaching change would affect the Maple Leafs ability to control puck possession. The stats crowd has been attentively watching the gamesspreadsheets to see just how great the impact would be under the leadership of Peter Horachek.

With Carlyle’s firing solidifying their position in the newly formed Corsi Hockey League, the Maple Leafs have forgotten to focus on winning games in pursuit of the postseason Corsi Trophy.

In fact, things have gotten so dire that the Maple Leafs have stopped playing hockey entirely and are now focused on a brand new form of competition: Corsi-Wrestling.

Luckily for those who think that hockey should be watched on the ice and not on the spreadsheets, expert volcanic takist Damien Cox has come to save the day with these face-melting takes via Twitter.

“The over-the-top praise Leafs are receiving for new keep-the-shots-down approach suggests many have lost concept idea is to win the game”

“In other words, there is no post-season Corsi award”

“Like, people do remember that Randy Carlyle’s team beat the Kings earlier this season, yes? Didn’t just Corsi-wrestle them?”

Wow. Seems that all of the celebration over Carlyle’s firing may have been a bit premature. Back in those days, the Leafs played hockey and they tried to win. Now under new leadership, they just Corsi-Wrestle with the goal of winning a nonexistent postseason Corsi Trophy.

Hopefully Phil Kessel will get this coach fired, just like he did with the last one, and the Leafs can get back to playing hockey.


NJ.com takist Randy Miller was reminded that there are different laws in Colorado when he took a walk during Tuesday’s off day.

In the thin air were stenches of marijuana on a record-setting cold day for Denver, which dropped to minus-19 at night.

“I smelled it in the street a little bit, but I guess it’s one of those things that’s probably new to a lot of people from out of state,” the piping hot takist said after the the Philadelphia beat writers’ morning Super Friends meeting Wednesday.

If the beat writers want to break in 2015 by getting high, they’ll have the opportunity. They won’t leave town until New Year’s Day and pot has been legal in the [sic] Colorado since November 2012. A pot stores [sic], in fact, is close to the beat writers’ hotel in downtown Denver.

“It’s not my cup of tea, but they went through the democratic process and now it became a law, so that’s America,” Miller said.

Usually the beat writers head straight to the airport to catch a flight immediately after road games, but they opted to spend New Year’s Eve in Denver after Wednesday night’s game with the Colorado Avalanche instead of flying to Carolina for Tuesday’s game [sic — the Flyers play Carolina on Friday].

Will NJ.com editor Kevin Whitmer say anything to his beat writers about this?

“I don’t talk to them,” he said. “Our beat writer corps is discipline [sic]. I think they do a good job of picking their spots and doing the right things — which is writing piping hot takes about non stories like the Flyers going to a state where pot is legal.

“We all know it’s New Year’s Eve and all that, but we’ve got takes … back-to-back takes that we have to crank out. It’s important.”

**Editor’s note: The above was a pretty much word for word article written by NJ.com’s Randy Miller, where I just replaced names to make it about him instead of the Flyers. You can read the original trashy take here.**